Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hallow's Eve...Eve

Hi Everybody!

Tomorrow is Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year, and I just wanted to wish you all a good one. I remember falling in love with scary movies as a small child, sneaking my way downstairs to watch them on TV when I wasn't supposed to. The highlight for me was probably the original 1980 Friday the 13th; it was late at night, and my parents and brothers were asleep, and I turned it on and got SO SCARED at the surprise ending (I won't spoil it for you -- you should just rent it and have the shit scared out of you). But here's the thing: since I wasn't supposed to be watching it in the first place, I couldn't go in my mom and dad's room and shake my mom awake for comfort, so I just huddled under my blankets in bed, terrified that Jason was going to come get me just like in the movie.

Mom has always outdone herself on Halloween: decorating our home to the nines, helping Jordan, Aaron, and me with costumes. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trick-r-treating, and some of my favorite adult memories are of passing out candies to the trick-r-treaters. (Speaking of, just watched Trick-R-Treat with Meagan yesterday -- a new classic for anyone who likes throwback movies to the likes of Creepshow and other '80s favorites). Gosh, A.J. Beckert, Nick Lakatos, Tim Smith, I think of all of you around the holidays and how much fun we used to have. Mom, I think about going to see Lost Boys with you. Jordan and Aaron, I remember being a MEAN older brother and convincing you that a serial killer was stalking us through the meadow that one time until I had you crying. I know, dear readers, shocking!

I've had lots of time to watch scary movies this week. Am home recuperating after some arthroscopic surgery on my knee. Yep, I tore my meniscus in the summer of '08. and last Friday the doctor went in there and fixed things up and got me ready for healing. My knee hasn't quite been the same in over a year, so after a few weeks of healing, I'll be as good as new. Been going a little stir-crazy in the house, but also have had amazing visitors, have gotten some good sleep, have done some reading (about 2/3 through Stephen King's The Stand, which stands -- pun intended -- at 1,141 pages). It's amazing how I can say I long for time to myself -- and trust me, I do cherish it -- especially because life can be so, so busy with work, catching up with people, upkeep of a home, all that stuff. But then when I have a chunk of it, like this week, my thoughts can spiral and I get edgy and it's just so difficult for me to be Zen and calm and still, on the inside. But I'm working on it. It's been an interesting Nathan Experiment for me.

Speaking of Stephen King's The Stand, here's a great quote from it:

"The father of sin was theft; every one of the Ten Commandments boiled down to 'Though shalt not steal.' Murder was the theft of a life, adultery the theft of a wife, covetousness the secret, slinking theft that took place in the cave of the heart. Blasphemy was the theft of God's name, swiped from the House of the Lord and sent out to walk the streets like a strutting whore...."

I look forward to Jerry visiting tomorrow; we're going to have a Halloween marathon. And then Luiz arrives on Sunday; he's renting the loft upstairs. This is just such a ghoulishly wonderful time of the year, and thank you to my visitors for spider cupcakes and Edward Cullen Sweetheart candies, pie, cards, sweet phone calls and texts and emails. Autumn is truly a time when we bundle up, hunker down, and hopefully find solace as the earth takes a long nap and recharges its batteries for the spring. They say that the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest on Halloween. I see that as a beautiful thing, a balance of nature, a time to rejoice and smile and play the occasional prank on a younger sibling....


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

quote of the day

"We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing..."

--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Birth (or, Baby's First Halloween)

On Sunday, I went over to Meagan’s to help decorate her home for little William’s first Halloween. We strung up witches and scarecrows, pumpkins and skulls, eyeball lights and cats. Halloween is certainly one of the best days of the year, and we had the most lovely, mellow time hanging out with my new “nephew,” watching him sleep, showing him how great Halloween is. And we’d even started the day with a trip down to the Saturday Market under the Burnside Bridge, so we could spend some time together in this crisp and fresh autumn air. I found myself during the day also thinking about Jenn, and her new son Damian, who was born just three days after William (and also on my brother Aaron’s birthday).

Birth: it consumes us. The birth of a child, the birth of a novel, the birth of an idea or a new way of looking at the world. We are surrounded, inside and outside, by reincarnation and fresh starts and triumphs over the past. The past is just an old skin to be shed – admired, yes, missed, maybe, frightened by, possibly, but still something to learn from and then move on from. Those demons and specters and ghosts of our pasts only gain strength – are given birth to – if we allow them to shadow our presents and futures in unhealthy ways that keep us in ruts or strip away our confidence.

Friday, October 02, 2009

quote of the day

"All things considered, when the human heart is fully explored and basic motivations understood, it is not the prospect of your own death that scares you most, that fills you to bursting with fear. Really, it's not. Think about it. What frightens us more, what reduces us to blubbering terror, are the deaths of those we love. The prospect of your own death, while not welcome, can be borne, for there is no suffering and pain once death has come. But when you lose the ones you love, your suffering lives on until you descend into your own grave. Mothers, fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, friends -- they are taken from you all your life, and the pain of loss and loneliness that their passing leaves within you is a more profound suffering than the brief flare of pain and the fear of the unknown that accompanies your own death."

--Dean Koontz, Twilight Eyes